For most growers in Northern Latitudes wanting to cultivate cannabis outdoors, the number one criteria for outdoor cannabis strains will be a fast finish, for example, plants that mature in mid-September.
When it comes to potency, hardiness, high yields, and fast finishes, you can usually get three out of four from a careful selection...
The first day of frost can come quickly once days are short and nights are long—the trigger signal for most cannabis strains to bud and produce resins.
Hardiness is also an important factor.
Mother Nature only selects the strongest to survive, while modern cannabis breeders, especially when cropping indoors, are looking for the highest quality or yield as plants tend to be pampered in controlled climates.
Hard rains, strong winds, droughts, frost—you name it, and it can happen outdoors. Since your plants cannot turn and run away from adverse conditions, they will need to be genetically strong fighters. Luckily, this is some of the selection criteria used when breeders are creating vigorous outdoor cannabis strains, i.e., tough plants.
Of course, quality and yield are important in outdoor cannabis strains too. When it comes to potency, hardiness, high yields, and fast finishes, you can usually get three out of four from a careful selection; getting all four outdoors is no small feat.
Autoflowering strains allow for anybody with around fifty frost-free days to enjoy a medicinal cannabis harvest grown outdoors. These strains are not sensitive to length of day to start budding as is the case with most cannabis strains. Rather, autoflowering plants will start to produce leafy buds after they gain a few sets of new leaves from germination. They can be fully mature in fifty to sixty-five days from starting seeds. Note, autoflowering strains can’t be cloned (rooting cuttings) well, and crops will need to be started from seed each time you want to grow a crop.
Autoflowering plants tend to stay compact—they are ideal for planting on patios or balconies, if permissible.
Some popular outdoor specific strains for Northern Latitudes:
South African, Afghani, ruderalis hybrids (autoflower), skunk varieties